New Publication: Fluorescence intensity and fluorescence lifetime measurements of various carbon dots as a function of pH

PhD Student Wiktoria Szapoczka, UiB, has published a new article in Scientific Reports

Measurement and monitoring of pH are essential in both the industry and academia. It is therefore important to continue developing novel, low-cost pH sensors that provide increased accuracy over long periods of time. Particularly promising are sensors based on materials that show pH-dependent fluorescence intensity (FI) and lifetime (FL). Carbon dots (CDs) are emerging as promising candidates because of their low cost, ease of manufacturing, low toxicity, and negligible photobleaching. However, little has been done to quantify the FI and FL values of CDs. Here we report the characterisation of the pH-dependent FI and FL of four novel solvothermal synthesised CDs.

The fifth CD is used as a reference sample and was synthesised following a published synthesis. The precursors for the CDs include disperse blue 1 dye, phloroglucinol, m-phenylenediamine (m-PD), N, and N-dimethylformamide (DMF). The average diameter size of the CDs ranges from 1.5 to 15 nm. An excitation wavelength of 452 nm with a bandwidth of 45 nm was used to quantify the fluorescence in the pH range 5–9. Three CDs show a decreasing trend in FI with pH, while two CDs show an increasing trend. None of the CDs shows strong FL dependence. The FL changes around 0.5 ± 0.2 ns across the tested pH range. We suggest that the differences in the fluorescence trends can be attributed to the precursors chosen for synthesising the CDs.

Full article here